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Help, opinions on a few knives, your choice?

Feb 27, 2000
I'm looking at few different knives, all with the same purpose in mind.

I'm looking for a knife to use for big game hunting, camp use, survival and on my LBV in case of deployment over seas.

1. Greg Lightfoot Sierra or a version of.
2. Chris Reeve Shadow IV.
3. Busse Natural Outlaw.
4. Camullis CQB
Looking for something that will last, which I beleieve all the above will. But they all use different steels, and I'm wondering how they hold up in edge retention. Chip or fold over? I feel the Busse a tad thick?

For reference, I have a Cold Steel SRK that's okay, but I'm looking for a better knife. I've also had a Benchmade Nimravus in ATS-34 and it was nice, but seemed more a gentlemans knife. Sliced food good, but seemed too light, maybe not real strong.

As for carry, I like the I like the Camullis design, and the Busse. I don't like the leather of CRK and haven't had a good look at the Lightfoot sheath.

Sheaths are secondary, as far as what comes with the knife. I can buy a custom from Pro Edge. Thanks

Do it right,or not at all.
You seem to be looking at a more general purpose knife, not a specialized one so, here goes:

1. Greg Lightfoot Sierra or a version of.
No personal experience

2. Chris Reeve Shadow IV.
Do you need a hollow handle to store stuff? If so this it.
Do you need a good using knife? If so this it.
As a side note, I sold one of these to a pilot who swears by it. Europe, South America, the Pacific have all seasoned this knife. Splitting wood (logs), cutting cargo loose, etc., this knife will not fail you.

3. Busse Natural Outlaw.
Certainly a good brand. Do you want a knife this heavy and thick? Certainly a stout knife.

4. Camullis CQB
Not a hunting knife. Camp knife only if you are involved in a fight. Survival if you are into sentry removal. Certainly not the general purpose knife you appear to desire and need. This one is too specialized for your general purpose needs.

The Mission A-2 Steel MPK's may also fit the bill for your needs.

Don't be swayed by the name. Choose a good steel but, don't get hung up on one specific steel versus another.

What sort of grip do you want?
Blade length?
Blade thickness?
Hollow or Flat grind?
Drop Point, Clip point, Spear Point, etc.?

Stay Sharp,

[This message has been edited by Sid Post (edited 10-07-2000).]
Thanks. I like a spear point or something with more metal toward the tip. I'm not real sure on grind, and I want a decently comfortable handle. Blade length of 5-6". I was looking at the CRK Project I, but seems long.... I don't really want a knife as thick as a Busse, but I'm open to suggestions. Now that I think of it, the Camullis is not what I really want.

Other comments, please? Strugling here and have never handled any of these knives but a Busse SH and the Benchmade. No one carries them around here.

So if any one close has one of these knives or another good choice that could let me examin one, it would be very appreciated.

Do it right,or not at all.
Your signature answers your own question.
Get the Randall catalog. Be prepared to wait 2-1/2 years for a special order, which I strongly recommend, and pay a fairly high price, especially if you can't wait, and want to find one on the open market. Many dealers place regular orders for them, and have a few in stock, although at higher prices than direct. You'll be expected to pay to avoid the wait, but if you can find what you WANT, it WILL be worth it.
Either way, you will have a knife that WILL be left to others.

Look very carefully especially at the #1 and the #14 for an ALL-purpose knife. The #14 is especially well suited for heavier tasks.

I got mine in 1966, and don't regret the wait or the price one bit. In fact, I was so pleased, I ordered and finally got a number of others. Now, I have 5 knives, all for different purposes that will last "forever", and I have never needed to add to them for fixed blades. The stainless 6" #1 with black Micarta handle is the one I use most, and seldom need to take another with me. Check out the Randall forum on "the other" knife forum site.

Good luck, and,
Take care.

Now I'm looking at the Randall Model 15 Airman and going to look at his others. Prices are in line with the others I'm looking at.

Do it right,or not at all.
Check out some Fallkniven line knives, they are highly praised by many expert forumies. VG10 steel holds an edge and highly rust resistant, their blades are quite thin if i remember correctly, great for regular chores and skinning.
Lightfoot's Sierra is very sweet but i think it's desgined primarily as a fighting knive, i could be wrong though. For camping uses, check out his new Pitbull.
I have the CQB, and i like it very much. Although it's primarily a fighting knife, it's a very good utility knife too. I did some yard work w/ this knife, ATS34 held up very well, and it's easily sharpened on Sharpmaker. The shealth is one of the best fix blade shealth i ever owned. The knife is quite light, so it might not be an efficient chopper.
Also check out the CS trailmaster if you have the money, or the shrink down version Recon Scout. These are all highly praised camping knives.
Hope this helps, just my .2

For excellent knives at a extremly low price you can't beat Newt Livesay's knives http://members.tripod.com/~Newt_Livesay/index.html I've got one of his Custom Air Assaults and love it. Here is a review on them by Chad234, http://www.bladeforums.com/ubb/Forum3/HTML/002076.html My Air Assault will be acompanying me on a upcomming deployment to the UAE. It's got a nice home on my LBE in a BlackHawk sheath. (normal AA's do not fit in the BH sheath, only custom ones)

I'm also in the process of ordering a Trace Rinaldi custom Warhawk to take with me. http://www.bladeforums.com/ubb/Forum3/HTML/002076.html I orginally wanted a Tempest but it's imposible to get one right now. Check out Trace's web site and take a good look at the Tempest. http://www.pe.net/~thrblade/ Trace also makes custom Kydex sheaths for just about any application you can think up.

Another knife maker I just started looking at is the Strider knife. They have a forum here on BF and one on http://www.tacticalforums.com/ their web site is http://www.striderknives.com/ Strider knives seem to fall in the sharpened crowbar catagory and are directed more to the military market and built for massive abuse.

Ifin your military and going on a deployment Randall will get you a knife. I had my Randall #1 on order when Desert Shield first started and they got it to me within weeks. However when I ended up going my #14 was back home and it made the trip with me.

SAS RKBA freedom Scottsbluff Cowboy Shooters Cheyenne Regulators
I'm with SharpEdge as to Fällkniven line knives. Comfortable handles, nice edge hold and high rust resistance of VG-10 steel blades, very reasonable price. Additionally you can choose leather, Cordura or Kydex sheath directly ordering your knife.
I doubt you could get more knife for each you dollar!

F1 is nice for food preparing and general cutting chores including game animal gutting and skinning.
A1 is probably the strongest knife in this category, three fellows should hang on it handle (if blade is plunged into something only 2 inches deep) to break it. Here you can find independent test results as to these knives strength.
S1 Forest Knife is very reasonably sized and weighted knife for general camping use, my favorite btw

[This message has been edited by Sergiusz Mitin (edited 10-09-2000).]
I just heard a very bad rip on Randall made knives. In a personal email, a gentleman expressed an opinion that Randall's were pretty knives, not users. Now I know one man's opinion is not reason enough to ignore these knives, but on looking at the sight I've trended toward the same idea. So, I need more opinions.

Now I'm looking at mainly the Chris Reeve Shadow IV, a Randall #1 or #14, maybe a Strider but want a non-tanto point.

Thanks all.

Do it right,or not at all.
I've taken my Randall #14 1/2 way around the world and back again. It's opened MRE's, Ammo crates, dug hasty scrapes, helped build overhead cover on DFP's, cut bamboo, endured 3 years of Okinawa/Korea/PI and other pacfic AO TDY's with all kinds of abuse. It's also made a few trips to the desert where it's done all kinds of work.

Yes the knife is pretty and I purchased it back sometime in early 1990 before the web. Reason I got it quite a few of the operators I was trained by had and swore by them.

Anybody saying Randalls are not working knives is full of BS.
Like the anti radar missile? I think we had this discussion before. Are the Randalls availible with micarta handles without the finger grooves? The web site doesn't have a very good picture. Anyware I can find a good pic? How do you find the 7" blade to carry? I'm thinking about LBE carry as I find my SRK on the web belt is kinda annoying, maybe it's my carry location. I like a knife that I can cut in an upward motion. Maybe not the safest but sometimes necesary. Cleaning deer comes to mind.
Also, I'm looking for a dull finish, but corrosion resistant, that won't look like it's 100years old the first time I hack a tree branch.

Strider makes the WB that might work, but I don't want a tanto point.

Also the Light foot Pitbull, although a little short. And the Tempest by Trace Rinaldi.

Any opinions on these other knives?

Do it right,or not at all.
I'd say grab an Air Assault, or, if you want something a tad bigger, a Fallkniven A1, and see how these bad boys suit you before spending a hunk of change. First, if you don't like them you are sure to be able to sell either here at a small loss. Second, they are both better knives that the CS, and each will give you a sense of exactly what it is you really want . . . and it would give you time to go to knife shows and try to feel other more "classy" knives yourself, so you don't buy something you later find is unsuitable. I would probably go with the Air Assault, because of its great handle [note - I actually find the Camillus handle at least as comfortable, but it's blade shape is not nearly as useful for general utility]. The AA is very strong, can be made very sharp, costs around $100 if you snoop around the forums long enough, has lots of belly and a strong tip and a decent sheath, and isn't too heavy. Jeff Randall uses it to pry boards from his barn, apparently. You can have the swedge sharpened if you really want. It has a black-coated blade. It is NOT a pretty knife, not well-finished, but that means you'll feel no compunction abusing it! It's 1095 steel, not a wonder steel but very competent & holds no surprises, easier to sharpen that the A1's VG-10. The A1 is a big ol' slab of steel too, quite unbreakable under any normal circumstances [Fred Perrin used it to dismantle an old car], and better than the S1 if you want to chop things. The AA will chop better than the S1 but not as well as the A1. Either the AA or A1 will get most any job done, affording you the time to save $$$ and shop for the perfect knife (but don't get Sergiusz started on diminishing performance returns for increased expenditure!!!)

The beatings will continue until morale improves.
Okay, one more question. How is the 7.5" blade range to carry? Ever get awkward? I'm in and out of vehicles so I'm thinking of LBE carry. Does the size ever seem way to big? Other then the letter opener use?

Do it right,or not at all.
From personal experience I can recommend the CR Project 1, Shadow IV and Falkniven A-1. The A-1 with kydex sheath could be exactly what you are looking for at an attractive price. The P-1 with a ProEdge Sheath is not a really big package and can be carried in several modes. The hollow handles are nice and CRK will make-like-new your knife if use takes its toll. Depending on where you are going and how much time and inclination you have in caring for your knife, the stainless versis carbon steel may be an issue for you. VG-10 is very good and A-2 is great in the strength and edgeholding departments. IMO.
If you call around to the several autorized Randall dealers you should be able to get your knife at list price within a couple of months at the most. A model 15 with a Border Patrol handle might be just the thing for you. If you want to use the knife on game and still have it stout enough for military misuse I suggest contacting Stoddard's, Inc., in Boston, Mass., and checking out their Randall dealer's special called the Sergeant's Model. (617) 536-8688.

If you like the model 1, model 14 look but they are not quite "right" for you, check out Wayne Buxton's Buxton Fighter. His dealer's special Randall has a 6 1/2 inch blade with more of a bowie clip than the 1 or 14 and the Border Patrol pattern handle.
(214) 272-7215.
Any thoughts on the Strider MT with the spear point? It's looking really good...

Do it right,or not at all.
You've had an awful lot of really good knives paraded before you in this thread. I don't envy the decision you have to make. Randall, Strider, Reeve and Busse are all top notch. If a fighter style blade is important then I would probably lean more toward the Randall or Strider, and of these two, I would probably choose the Strider. I don't know what kind of heat treat they do to their ATS-34, but the knives are hella tough and Mick Strider stands behind his knives 100%. You should also understand the philosophy behind the design and construction of Strider Knives which is illustrated fairly well in the following thread:

I think Randall could stand to start doing some experimenting with some newer steels other than O-1 and 440B, but as folks have attested to in this thread, Randall does get the most that can be had from these steels.

If, on the other hand, you have more utility type uses in mind for this blade then I would give serious consideration to the Busse Natural Outlaw. While it's true that the Busses are built from 1/4" stock, don't forget that they feature a full flat grind from spine to edge bevel. This basically translates to a more efficient cutting profile than can be had from the severe saber grinds of either the Randall or Strider. And as far as chip resistance, toughness and edge retention are concerned, you can't do much better than INFI, in my opinion.

All in all, based on the uses you've described, I'd have a hard time not choosing the Natural Outlaw, but rest assured that both the Busse and the Strider are built with a "failure is not an option" mentality. Good luck.

Semper Fi


Hey what's wrong with the SRK.

Out of all the customs mentioned and I have had experience with some not all. I have found the SRK to be the best.

I think what happens is people think I am special I need a custom knife. It doesn't have to do with performance it is a prestige thing.

I am in the process of trading my busse sth2 for a cold steel trailmaster. I have not found anything better than cold steel. sure they aren't the best looking but they are tough as nails. and cheaper except the trailmaster.

I dunno, Chris. Of the knives I mentioned above, only one is a custom brand. And regardless, I've recommended knives that instill only a feeling of confidence (in the knives' abilities) and not "specialness" or exclusivity. I own several Cold Steel Carbon V blades, including the SRK, and though I use and like them all, I personally wouldn't trade a Busse, Strider, Randall or Reeve for any of them. Obviously your experiences have brought you to a different conclusion. I guess that's why we're all here, to relay our experiences and help people make informed decisions.

BTW, if the deal on the Trailmaster falls through, I have a big ole kuhkri-like Carbon V All Terrain Chopper (ATC) that I'll gladly trade for an SHII.

Semper Fi

You may also want to take a look at the Randall model 17. It looks odd in the catalog but feels good in hand. The 5 1/2 blade length will work well with your LBV.